What do you get when you combine three big heaps of dirt with a whole lot of vision, ingenuity and skill? For the residents of Murray Bridge Lutheran Villages, the answer is a brand-new native garden space, with true wow-factor.
Resident Kevin Schrapel had just moved in when Murray Bridge Lutheran Homes CEO, Delton Schiller, approached him, asking him if he could transform some spare soil and empty space into a garden. Drawing on his time living in arid areas, Kevin created a detailed concept plan and enlisted other residents to assist with carrying it out.
“So started about seven months of head scratching, laughter, brain storming, great fellowship, some dirty fingernails and a few aching backs!” Kevin says.
The village is unique in having its own heavy equipment and residents who are experienced operators, so hauling rocks (all 34 pallets of them!), levelling ground and forging paths was no problem.
The finished garden incorporates a waterfall, a rapid, a lilypond and a mini wetland of bullrushes. There is also a rock gorge with sensory plants, wheel-chair friendly paths and a fire pit area, where residents can sit and listen to the sounds of nature. The space was dedicated to God in a ceremony led by Pastor Peter Welke, and residents are now enjoying their new surrounds.
“The plants are flourishing, ducks have been seen on the mini wetland, a large variety of birdlife have moved in…and the callouses have gone from the hands,” Kevin laughs. “Some wives, whose husbands had been deeply involved, are now asking ‘what are you going to do to keep them from under our feet?’”.
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